Post-Fledging Dispersal and Behavioral Ecology of Burrowing Owls in Southwestern Idaho

Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Raptor Biology



Major Advisor

James R. Belthoff


This thesis consists of three chapters describing my investigation of the behavioral ecology of burrowing owls (Speotyto cuniculariai) in southwestern Idaho. The purpose of my field research was to (1) determine how an environmental factor, such as food availability, could influence the behavior and dispersal movements of young owls, (2) develop a descriptive model of the post-fledging dispersal of juvenile burrowing owls, and (3) characterize habitat variables associated with burrowing owl nest sites and roost sites. Information contained in this thesis should be particularly useful to those interested in the proximate causes of dispersal or the effects of food availability on dispersal behavior, and to those involved and/or concerned with the management and conservation of burrowing owls.

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